Mirror, Mirror…It’s Reflection Time

Closing in on 50 helped me to really come to terms with the difference between regret and reflection.   Both cause us to look backwards.  Both require us to contemplate a bit about what we’re seeing in that rearview mirror.  But the similarities end there because the reason we choose one way or the other and the end results are not the same.

Over the years, I have had regrets.  More than a few times I have wished I’d have done, said, or chosen something (or someone) different. I’ve wasted a lot of time asking the classic question: What if? But I never got the answer to that question. Never.  Not once, no matter how many times I asked it.  In fact. the more I asked that question, the more I felt self-blame followed by self-punishment.

I’ve concluded that the reason I always ended up feeling that way was because I, like possibly many of you, always assumed that the other choice was better.  But that isn’t necessarily true.  There is no way to know if, in the long run, things would be better on another path.  Even on a different path, I would still have done things like make mistakes, hurt someone and been hurt by someone, and I would have still, from time-to-time, wondered about a choice I didn’t make.  What’s safe to say is that the path not taken would be different.

Wondering about what might have been no longer makes me sad.  I realize now that no amount of wondering or fantasizing about an alternate life is going to change the past.  Life isn’t a movie in which the leading character, after a bump on the head, gets a glimpse of how their life might have turned out with option B then wakes up feeling confident they made the right choice.  Life doesn’t work that way.  And I don’t need it to.

Reflecting is my choice these days. I do look back and occasionally wonder a little.    But I don’t fall into the darkness of feeling as if I missed out on something because I don’t know that I have missed anything.  Nowadays, I use reflection more as a tool to plan for the future.  I know that might sound crazy.  But a lot of what I have going on now and planned for the future is based on this question: What have I always wanted to do?  And that answer lies in reflection, not regret.

I am happy with who I am today. I am a work in progress.  We all are. I am who I am today because of the choices I made.  Good or bad, I own that fact.  I am constantly learning and changing and moving forward. I hope you are, too.

In Romans 8:28, we are told “God works all things together for the good of those who love him and have been called according to His purpose.”  That means that everything will work out.   All we can do is do our best and trust that God stiches it all together and gets us back on track, even if we’ve slightly changed the course.

Today’s take away: choose reflection…not regret.



Fitness goals at 50

My father once told me, many years ago, that we enter into our next year of life, basically, the day after our birthday.  So, for example, last October I celebrated my 50th birthday. But, I entered into my 50th year the day after my 49th birthday.  He was always sharing interesting things like that.

Since entering into my 50th year, a lot of things have come into focus for me.  And, boy, am I ever grateful.  One of these things has been that age is just number.  I’ve heard that before, but I was really starting to get it.  I guess that happen when you arrive at a certain point in life.  Apparently, I had arrived.

I began to realized what was really important and what I could finally let go of.  One of the things that has become important, consistently, is my health.  I have started and stopped healthy eating plans, bought multiple workout programs from late-night infomercials, and purchased and quit gym memberships throughout my adult life.

But now, something is different.  I think it’s different because this time, it really is about my health.  The goal is not my physical appearance. Any physical changes that come along with it are bonuses, not the focus. It is easier to keep to the plan because my well-being is MY well-being.  I’m not competing with anyone.

I’ve recently made the commitment to myself that Tuesday evenings are gym evenings.  I go straight to the gym after work.  But I forgot my gym bag today.  During the day, I found myself thinking I would probably not make it to the gym tonight because I can’t go straight there.  Then it hit me:  WHY can’t I go?  Am I not allowed to go back out?  The only thing stopping me from going to the gym was me.  And I control me.  Control.  That is another amazing thing I’ve discovered upon entering this new life season.

So, after a wardrobe change, I was out the door and headed to the gym!

The workout was great and I even got in some extra ab reps since I will not be at the gym tomorrow.  Wednesday and Thursday evenings are flexible because of other commitments.  I’ve learned I have to be willing to accept flexibility if I expect the pieces of my life to fit together somehow.

My Fabulous Over 50 journey has many goals.  This fitness goal is only one.  It’s not the grandest ever pursued, but it’s a big one for me.

I want to, no, I need to, lose a total of 49 lbs.  I know that sounds specific, and it is.  So far, I’ve lost 20 lbs. Yeay!  I started to lose a little momentum so I am back at it.  My other numbers (A1C, cholesterol, etc.) are reflecting it.

Who knew that eating healthy, drinking water, and moving your body really does make a positive impact on one’s overall health?  😉

Age is just a number.  True words.

Until next week…